A poll by Nextier, a consulting firm, has projected that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party is in a pole position to win the 2023 presidential election.
The polls indicated that Obi would defeat Tinubu in Lagos.
The firm said the result of its face-to-face poll of eligible voters in rural and urban communities in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, showed that Obi is Nigerians’ favorite presidential candidate.
Obi, the former Governor of Anambra State is one of the main presidential candidates leading political conversations ahead of the forthcoming election.
The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are Obi’s closest rivals.
But according to Nextier’s polls, Obi -in spite of his party’s lack of structure – secured the highest voter preference in the firm’s nationwide survey conducted on Friday, January 27, 2023.
A statement on Nextier’s website says “Labour Party leads the voters’ preference at 37 percent of the survey respondents. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) secured 27 percent of the survey responses, while the All Progressives Congress secured 24 percent, with the New Nigeria Peoples Party at 6 percent”.
Although Obi secured the highest voter preference, the survey shows he may not secure an outright first-round victory in the election.
“Although the Labour Party secured the highest voter preference, Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election will likely go into a second-round runoff with Peter Obi and one of either Atiku Abubakar or Bola Tinubu”, the statement concluded.
The polls breakdown by regions: South East
In the Southeast region, the polls indicated that the Labour Party recorded the highest percentage of voting preferences in Abia (98.8%), Anambra (96.6%), Ebonyi (80.5%), Enugu (87.5%) and Imo (93.9%).
The polls suggested that Obi would clear the region even though his party has no political presence in all the states that make up the region.
In the South-south region, the Labour Party also recorded a higher chance of winning the presidential election over the PDP and the APC.
Traditionally, the six states in the south-south region belong to the PDP, but Nextier’s polls suggested that that is no longer the case as Obi floored Atiku and Tinubu in the region.
The polls in the region show the Labour Party recording 60.5 % in Akwa-Ibom, 62.9% in Bayelsa, 63.2 % in Cross-River, 65.9 in Delta, 76.9% in Edo, 77.8% in Rivers State.
The southwest zone is believed to be the stronghold of the APC Presidential candidate, but the outcome of Nextier’s regional polls is mainly in favor of the Labour Party and its candidate.
In the region, the LP recorded 36.2 % in Ekiti, 36.3 % in Ogun, 36.9 in Oyo, and 39.4 in Lagos state, where Tinubu’s political hegemony is well established.
In Ondo and Osun, the poll predicted victory for the PDP and the APC respectively. While the mega parties correspondingly shared the two states with 47.6 % and 45.6 %, the LP came second in the two states.
The northwest region hosts some states whose votes go a long way in determining winners of presidential elections in Nigeria.
According to Nextier’s polls, the Labour Party recorded a very low percentage of voting preference in the seven states that make up the northwest geo-political zone.
The leading parties in the region based on the polls are the APC and the PDP, while LP seems to have a chance in Katsina state with a 29.4% voting preference.
Like the northwest, the northeast zone is another region where the Labour Party recorded a meager percentage of voting preference.
In the region comprising Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe state the survey favors the APC and the PDP.
However, in Adamawa state which is Atiku’s home state, the Labour Party came second with 30.8 %, while the APC topped the poll with 33.8 %, Atiku’s party came third with 29.2 %.
North Central and the FCT
Nextier’s survey also shows that the Labour Party recorded a high percentage of voting intention in Benue (46.1%), Nasarawa (35.9%), and Abuja (62.9%).
The remaining four states in the region, Kwara, Plateau, Kogi, and Niger were shared between the PDP and the APC.
The polls predicted that Obi’s party leads current voting intention at 37 % among the 3000 respondents surveyed.
APC’s reaction to Nextier’s polls
Nextier’s survey predicting victory for Peter Obi does not sit well with the ruling All Progressives Congress.
According to the party, the poll was “cooked up” and “far away from reality”.
Describing the poll organizers as “jesters”, Bayo Onanuga, the Director of Media and publicity, Bola Tinubu’s Campaign team said Obi “is not a major contender in the coming presidential election in Nigeria”.
He said the pollsters at Nextier are working for the Labour Party and their poll results are all cooked up.